As the two officers ascended upstairs to view the corpses, everyone who remained downstairs had their eyes on Fawful. As Fawful smoked nervously, he couldn't help but wonder what would happen if he pulled out the gun and pretended that he didn't know it was there. But no, Morris had already managed to make everyone currently in the room believe that he was the killer. He had no motive, no reason for being there. It seemed pretty obvious, even to Fawful that he could be set up to take the fall.

Upstairs, Davies and Chyron opened the door to behold the bodies of Daishi and Guru. Daishi was now beginning to stink, and the blood on his neck had turned slightly brown. Guru's eyes had rolled into the back of his head and the froth brought about by the poison had dissolved, leaving nothing but a few white lines leading from the corner of his mouth to the back of his neck. Chyron stood near the door jotting down notes as Davies examined the floor.

"How long have these guys been dead?" Chyron asked Johnro, who stood outside in the hallway.

"Daishi, three, maybe fours hours ago. Guru, an hour."

"Who discovered the first body? The blood-stained gent in the rocking chair?"

"I… I don't really know."

"What do you mean you don't know?"

"I was called over to this room by the three other men, Fawful, Coolsome, and the man there on the bed."

"I'll ask those guys in a bit." Chyron wrote a last note and placed the notebook and pen back into his pocket. "Find anything, Davies?"

"On the smiley-necked guy, nothing. On the fat ass here on the bed, I found this." He handed a couple sheets of paper to Chyron. Chyron took the paper and began to scan through the names.

L. Everett, Child abuse, 3000 a week

A.A. Morris, plagiarism, 5000 a week

M. Guru, war criminal, 12000 a month

A. Foley, police corruption, 3000 a week

N. Tethers, murder, 2000 a month

A. Rose, rape and impregnating an underage, 5000 a month

T. Capote, murder, 2000 a week

E. Marley, murder and theft, 2000 a week

E. Brown, murder, 4000 a month

D. Marsden, unfaithfulness, 2000 a week

B. Tannen, murder and abuse, 4000 a month

S. Coolsome, affair and impregnation of an underage, 5000 a month

M. Johnro, sexual assault and second-degree murder, 2000 a month

S.R. Vaughan, plagiarism, 5000 a month

A. Lowe, sexual assault, 2000 a month

R. Gilbert, plagiarism and technological piracy, 2000 a week

B. Moriarty, occult murder and ritualism, 5000 a week

He could look through the rest later. He pocketed the sheets.

"Anything else?"

"Yeah." He handed him a bloodstained handkerchief. "This was in his pocket, along with a steak knife. Looks like he was trying to wipe it clean." He got fumbled through his pockets to find his car keys.

"I got some evidence bags in the trunk of the car. I'll go get them."

As Davies entered the living room, almost everyone's gaze turned to meet his. It made him feel somewhat uneasy. Avistew was seated beside the radio, which now played "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree." Marsden was caught in a hypnosis-like trance, as if still trying to comprehend what had just happened to him. Fawful hadn't moved from his corner of the room, as if something would leap on him as soon as he took a step. Mortis had his arms folded and was leaning against the mantelpiece. Coolsome was having a whiskey and was scratching the back of his head. Fawful continued to nervously fondle with the gun in his pocket. For a moment, he actually thought of dumping the gun somewhere, perhaps the chimney or into some lone trashbin while no one was looking. But the chances are that if he were caught, it would be damning.

A few minutes passed and Davies came rushing back inside, sweaty and looking terrified. He wasted no time bolting up the stairs and back into the bedroom, where he remained for a few minutes. The others stood by, looking confused. The two came down after a bit.

"Have any of you been outside since you got here?"

Coolsome stepped forward. "Yeah, for only a second, though. It was when Marsden tried to up and flee. Why?"

"Detective Davies was looking into the other vehicles and noticed odd-looking packages sitting in the backseats. He thinks they were explosives."

"OF COURSE, THEY'RE EXPLOSIVES!" Marsden ejaculated, emerging from unconsciousness. For a moment, the others thought he sounded like his wife.

"Anyway," Chyron continued, "these packages are in all of your cars. It seems none of you are going anywhere unless you want to end up like the smoldering wreck outside."

"How the hell could they have gotten in there in the first place?! None of us have been outside up until Marsden made a run for it!" Morris had decided to finally open his mouth. There was something about these cops that he didn't like. The fat one reminded him somewhat of Orson Welles, and the other was more of a George Raft type guy. Both even had cigars down to stubs to complete the looks.

"Well, I don't know what to tell you. Obviously, you aren't going anywhere." He turned to his fat partner. "I've got to get back to the precinct, give what we got so far to Captain Iryon. I'll be back in a bit. And… don't let any of these mugs go anywhere."

And with that, he took leave. Fawful, still standing in same spot fumbling with the revolver in his pocket, half expected another earth shattering kaboom, but instead he only heard a car driving off into the distance. Avistew announced that she had to use the bathroom, and slipped away. As she did, everyone save for Fawful retreated to the barroom. Davies had surprisingly been fine with him staying alone in the living room. He turned the radio back on, the Champs' song "Tequila" playing as he sat there to think. The wailing saxophone seemed to help him ponder.

Three dead. One with a slashed throat, one poisoned (apparently, it was separated into two different compounds, meaning that both halves would have had to have been put in him for them to become deadly), and one dead in an explosion. Nobody had been outside before Marsden had tried to escape, save for when we all arrived. Therefore, the murderer must have placed them in the cars before coming into the house, someone who knew how to unlock the doors. It would have taken time. So obviously, he already had the bombs on the grounds before arriving (if he wasn't here before then). Daishi walks into the dining room, announces that one of the people sitting at the table before him was a blackmailer. Before he can reveal anything, the lights go out and a shot is fired in the dark. Daishi then runs from the room, realizing that his plan has failed. It must have been while the room was dark that the murderer placed the revolver in my pocket. How I didn't notice is beyond me. Now, Daishi couldn't have been in that room the whole half-hour we searched, but there were no blood or drag marks, so he did in fact die in that room. His throat was slashed right the fuck open, with a steak knife. Dinner was soup and pasta, so he must have gotten the knife before going into the library to meet the others. At first I suspected Guru, because he refused to allow anyone to see any evidence and he was found later with a blackmail list on his person. But he's dead, too, so that counts him out. But how was the poison administered to him? One half was probably in the drink he had in the library. Wait a minute…


Suddenly, Morris rushed into the room with a look of intense hatred in his eyes and a snarl.


He was then upon Fawful quicker that imaginable, punching him in the stomach and face. Fawful fought back with equal strength, aiming for any place that would send him down. Morris pushed himself against him, sending the two against the wall. Fawful took the opportunity to deliver a kidney shot, which ended the fight then and there. The others ran into the room, Davies holding a revolver not unlike the one the Fawful still had in his pocket.

"What the hell is happening in here?" Davies demanded.

"Morris tried to kill me!"

"He came in here saying that you killed him," said Coolsome.


"We're not talking about them. Johnro's dead," said Marsden. "He's downstairs, in the basement. His head was bashed in with a fireplace poker. There's only two fireplaces in this house, and one is right next to where you stand." Marsden sounded unusually calm.


"Son," Davies started, "put the gun down."


He found that he had the revolver in his hand, and it was leveled at the ground close to Morris. He hadn't known how it had gotten out of his pocket and into his hand, but he knew it looked pretty bad for him. He then slowly dropped the gun, sliding against the wall and began sobbing.

"I… didn't… kill...anybody…"

Davies walked forward and picked up the gun. Then he put handcuffs on Fawful.